mama’s got curves part 1: scoliosis surgery and pregnancy

September 15, 2011, Michaela Evanow, 14 Comments

Pregnancy is different for everyone. For me, the first trimester of my pregnancy required my body to work overtime. I threw up from 6 weeks. It started with a bang, throwing up day and night for 24 hours. I wept and mumbled “if this is it, take my life right now Jesus, because I can’t do this.”

Oh it sounds dramatic.

But… unless you’ve been through it (and I’ve talked to many mamas who have) then you will never understand the heaviness of all day nausea and vomiting for months on end. At fifteen and a half week, the vomiting has ceased, but the nausea is still going strong in the evenings.

But it got better. And then it got worse. It got way worse. I threw up so hard, so often, I threw my ribs out. I had to literally press deep into the side of my ribcage where one rib is missing, to be able to breathe and vomit. When it was really bad, I had to call Jay to do it for me. My body isn’t quite able to handle me falling asleep sitting up, so I jammed my tender sacroiliac joint. This is also due to relaxin, the hormone pumping its way around my body, relaxing my joints and ligaments. In my case, relaxin is causing a lot of problems. Just ask my chiropractor or massage therapists.

“You have to keep coming in for treatments—we’ll manage it, but it won’t get better.”

Great.

I feel as if I’m waddling around like I’m 9 months pregnant. I know my body so well, I know all it’s weaknesses. It’s like carrying around a piece of my youth, a reminder that I was broken and in need of fixing.

Around 11 years ago, the phantom grasp of scoliosis wrapped it’s tendrils around my spine, twisting it so severely, I didn’t know what hit me.

X-rays showed this:

Serious curves.

 Six months later, eight days after my 16th birthday, I was on an operating table. Twelve hours, two separate incisions later, I was ‘fixed.’ Meaning, I was able to continue living life, and my heart and lungs were no longer in danger of being crushed. But, as anyone who has had surgery knows, you are never quite fixed. Two scars took over my back. One runs laterally down 3/4 of my spinal column, the other curving across my left side, ending just above my hip.

Side view of the rod placements.

The end result! See where the missing rib is? On the right side, about 8 ribs down.

I don’t know what lays ahead for me and our baby in utero, but that’s okay. I know that he or she is happy with the warmth of my womb, and will grow and expand inside my body, and my body will expand with it. My spine won’t curve and offer that bit of extra room, so I’ll most likely be carrying a huge load right out front and lean like the tower of Pisa, or be in a wheelchair (joke). The only major concern I have is if there is a complication and a C-Section is needed. If that is the case, I will most likely have to be put under general anesthetic, and therefore won’t be awake for the birth of my baby.

Nevertheless, this is another season, one of many, that requires me to trust like never before.

Grow baby, grow. I love you.

Read part two of the journey: mama’s got curves part II: scoliosis surgery and


14 Comments

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  • Reply mama’s got curves part II: scoliosis surgery and the postpartum. « Babushka Mama March 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM

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  • Reply Bev. Nash September 16, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    My dear Michaela, Cast down all that Dr’s say to you that is negative. These are limitations others believe or we can choose to believe or not. What are your heart’s beliefs? Limiting beliefs prevent us from the joy of our Salvation and all that could be. Where there is faith, there is freedom and unlimited possibilities. Your faith is being greatly tested but you WILL come forth and already are, as PURE GOLD. Suffering works character and depth in us, perseverance, and hope and , hope doesn’t make us ashamed. It’s so great to see you be transparent about what you are going through. I am with you in this. I feel your struggle and pain. We are called to bear one another’s burdens. I pray for strength and healing for you. I hold you in my heart. You are amazing and inspirational to us all. Love you with all my heart! God will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the Power of God that works within us. This is the where the rubber meets the road kind of stuff that creates more Life than we can imagine. You are a co- creator with Christ, dying , to bring forth life…….so amazing! Love you, believe in you, Mom

  • Reply Melissa Long (previously Bentham) September 15, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Oh my goodness Micheala I can’t imagine how excruciating that has been. I mean I know pregnancy but nothing like that. I will totally be praying for you. I hope it gets better. Just remember that you are going through a 9 month miracle and for that entire time God is busy making an adorable baby inside YOU! After everything was over the biggest thing for me was ‘wow all that just happened!’ (meaning pregnancy and birth and seeing Ethan) it is so crazy. All this to say it is worth it to have a baby in the end and worth it to be part of such a friggin HUGE miracle. YOU CAN DO IT!!

  • Reply NannaMLou September 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Precious child – every breath I breathe holds a prayer for you and B. Breathe out the concern about not seeing your baby right off – I had all sections – Lisa had a section with Faith and now, you KNOW that was not by choice – she was awake! They saw each other first….you are the conductor of this orchestra and you will arrange the composition of your own choosing (give or take a suggestion or two). Relax into it – soon, it will just be a matter of pampering yourself while s/he grows dimples on the cheeks, top and bottom!

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